For some reason I've wandered through today thinking it was the 25th. It's not. It's the 26th. But I can't change that. What I can do is spend some time reflecting on the valuable feedback provided by Sian earlier this afternoon (that's the 26th) on my draft abstract. Sian's comments are indented.
Yes, I agree with the point about not restricting it to online programmes. In fact as I read over the abstract before sending it off, I did ask whether limit the scope to online learning might leave me short in terms of potential interviewees and cases to observe. I like the idea of being able to speak to people from different disciplines, not least as what might be regarded as an alternative format assignment in some disciplines would be the norm in the likes of art and design and not alternative at all, in fact.
Yes. I want to limit the scope to focus on teacher interviews (to the exclusion of student interviews) so that the project would be manageable. Having studied the assessment criteria in the Dissertation Handbook, I want to aim for critical depth and to avoid being overwhelmed by the breadth of the undertaking. And yes also to the observation plan as I think it would help me gain insights and understanding that might not be achieved during interviews. Finally, the visual reading was at Sian's suggestion that it would make for an interesting exercise and one that I would be good at. This feels risky but interesting at the same time.
I like the idea of focusing on the MSc team, if that isn't overly narrow. Pragmatically, that would seemingly be more straightforward than having to gain the confidence of tutors with whom I haven't worked. How would that work in terms of cross-disciplinary though? Would I perhaps do interviews within the MSc in E-L team but observation across a broader range of subject areas? Would tutors be more willing to participate if they felt the focus was on observation rather than interview?
Again, I'm attracted to the idea of working on a small scale, hopefully enabling me to really get under the skin of the subject. And yes, it would be great if this laid down some foundations for a Phd taking a more multidisciplinary approach. I'm just wondering though whether by focusing on the MSc team I'm limiting my project too much? Is it OK to be this narrow in focus (i.e. one programme of (albeit varied) study)?
In terms of over familiarity with the MSc programme, is this in the sense that it might reduce my effectiveness or impartiality as a researcher?
So, lots to ponder this weekend. On Sunday evening I'll revisit what I've written here and will send e-mail Sian with a response. Sunday will be the 28th.